If you've been following me, you know I'm branching out and testing myself with new technique and recipes. I follow a blog called Sally's Baking Addiction. September’s baking challenge is pate a choux dough. This is what cream puffs and eclairs are made of. I’m sure you’ve tasted one or two. I was really excited for this challenge. It’s not surprising to many of you, but I watch a lot of baking shows on TV. One of my favorites is the Kids Baking Challenge. When I saw these kids making pate a choux dough, I couldn’t believe it! These kids are 9, 10 , 11 years old and they’re making things I’ve never even heard of. I have heard of pate a choux, but have never attempted it. I tried it and here’s how it went. Just a few ingredients, so that didn’t sound too hard.
The first steps are done on the stove. That was something new for me. The ingredients mixed together really. Everything was looking good. I put the mixture into a piping bag and onto the baking sheet they went.
The recipe said to bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake for another 10 minutes. In my mind, I’m thinking that temperature is too high and too long to bake it. They always say, the first time you try a recipe, make it exactly as written. After that, you can tweak it however you want. Well, here’s what happened when I followed the exact directions for cooking time. Too dark!!! Over baked. Knowing my wacky kitchen it’s probably my oven and not Sally’s recipe.
So, on to the next batch. I kept the oven temp at 400, but didn’t keep them in as long. Here’s what happened to these. It’s trial and error with these fragile little pillows of dough.
I went ahead and filled the first batch with pastry cream, sprinkled a bit of powered sugar on them and drizzled them with chocolate. The bottoms were a little too done, but they were delicious nonetheless.
All in all, I’m really happy to stretch myself. The more I challenge myself, the better baker I’ll become.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. Until the next time......
My search never seems to end for the perfect vanilla cake. I’ve been on a mission for quite some time. Now that I’m making more cakes, it’s been in the back of my mind. I think I’ve found the perfect vanilla cake recipe and then I don’t like it.
Vanilla (or white) cake is a nemesis for many a cake bakers. The problem with vanilla cake recipes, is that it all too often they comes out dense and dry. Why this is, is a mystery to me. I love my other flavors of cakes. My chocolate cake I could eat all day long. My carrot cake--OH to die for. Both my chocolate cake and carrot cake have won first prize at the Ventura County Fair! I’m super proud of that. More on that on another post.
Back to my vanilla cake. I’m looking for a vanilla cake that has great flavor and a soft crumb that also holds up nicely. This past couple of weeks I’ve tried a few different recipes. Here’s one that I baked today. Don't mind the few crumbs that are coming off the cake. It just means it's super moist and that's a good thing.
What makes a perfect vanilla cake? Is it the addition of buttermilk? extra vanilla?, oil? Do you mix it for a long time or do you not mix it? It’s more scientific than you would think. Again, why just vanilla cake? I couldn’t tell you. I just know that we bakers have banged our heads against the wall more than once, when it comes to vanilla cake.
Here is the cake all frosted and decorated. I love the beautiful flower on top and the sprinkles.
Mary Liz, baker of all things good.